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Judging a Book by Its Cover: Science Coffee Table Books

DBRL Next - June 2, 2014

Book cover for The Elements by Theodore GrayI generally follow the advice to never judge a book by its cover, but sometimes the cover is what attracts me to a book. When I was a child, I read the book “National Geographic Picture Atlas of Our Universe,“ by Roy A. Gallant, because there was a cool-looking spaceship on the cover. The book was about astronomy and physics, of course, but it also had mythological stories about each planet and about the universe as a whole. There were illustrations and charts that helped my puny mind begin to grasp the complex ideas of space and time. But what I most clearly remember about the book was the section in which the author imagined what characteristics life would have to survive the heat of Venus of the atmosphere of Jupiter.

My attraction to coffee table books continues through the present day. They are convenient to browse when you are waiting 15 minutes for the oven timer to sound but are equally suited to intensive investigation on the back porch with a cup of coffee. Here are some of my more recent favorites.

The Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe
by Theodore Gray
The author describes this book as containing “Everything you need to know. Nothing you don’t.” Gray lays out the requisite structural information for each element, but he also shows you what each element looks like. He also shares examples of how each element is used, both in nature and by humans. Learning about atomic weights and density might not seem immediately thrilling, but this book is fun enough to have inspired puzzles and posters.

Book cover for The Oldest Living Things in the World by Rachel SussmanThe Oldest Living Things in the World
by Rachel Sussman
This book is the culmination of 10 years of Sussman’s work. She traveled to every continent and even learned to scuba dive so she could photograph organisms that are all at least 2,000 years old. The pictures are exceptional, of course, but what distinguishes this book are the stories that Sussman shares about her process.

 The Definitive Visual GuideScience: The Definitive Visual Guide
edited by Adam Hart-Davis
If you can’t decide which scientific discipline you want to learn about, then this book is the place to start. It is organized chronologically and covers biology, medicine, astronomy, math, chemistry, life, the universe and everything. Parents (or anybody who likes awesome juvenile books) might recognize DK Publishing as the publisher of the Eyewitness book series. This science book has a similarly pleasing aesthetic, breaking down complicated ideas into simpler and manageable elements.

The post Judging a Book by Its Cover: Science Coffee Table Books appeared first on DBRL Next.

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2014 Teen Summer Reading Challenge

DBRLTeen - June 2, 2014
GearsRegistration for the Teen Summer Reading Challenge has begun!

The library is challenging area young adults ages 12-18 to read for 20 hours, share three book reviews and do seven of our suggested activities. Get your reward card punched as you go, and when you finish, you’ll receive a free book and be entered in a drawing for a Kindle e-reader. Sign up online, or at any of our three library branches or bookmobile stops.

Originally published at 2014 Teen Summer Reading Challenge.

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Summer Program Preview: Technology and Science

DBRL Next - May 30, 2014

Summer of Science logoSummer Reading launches Monday, and this year’s programs celebrate science of all sorts. Here are just some of the programs coming up next week and beyond. Learn something new this summer!

Drop-in Windows 8 Help
Monday, June 2 › 3-4 p.m.
Columbia Public Library, Training Center
Did you just buy a new Windows 8 computer and have no idea where to start? Come to our informal session to learn about the Windows 8 operating system and get pointers on how to use it.

Selling Online
Monday, June 2 › 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Columbia Public Library, Training Center
In this intro class, learn the basics of selling your stuff on three popular websites–eBay, an auction site; Craigslist, a classified ad site; and Etsy, a marketplace for handmade and vintage items. Basic computer skills required. Register by calling 573-443-3161.

Discover Nature—Fishing in Missouri
Thursday, June 5, 2014 › 6:30-8 p.m.
Callaway County Public Library, Friends Room
Mariah Morrison with the Missouri Department of Conservation will talk about fishing in Missouri and teach you to identify the most common fish in our state’s waters. She’ll also share tips on bait, lures and tying knots. Adults. Register by calling 573-642-7261

Google Toolbox
Friday, June 13, 2014 › 2:30-4 p.m.
Columbia Public Library, Training Center
Learn to use Google to create a website or blog; keep a calendar; organize and share your pictures and videos; work with web-based documents, spreadsheets and presentations; do scholarly research; and more. Register by calling 573-443-3161.

The Art and Science of Archaeology
Saturday, June 14, 2014 › 2-3 p.m.
Columbia Public Library, Friends Room
As they study earlier human cultures, archaeologists draw from a wide range of sciences including chemistry, geology, biology, astronomy, botany and paleontology. We’ll take a look at some of these scientific methods and tools and how they help construct a more accurate view of history. Museum educator Rachel Straughn-Navarro will show some examples of ancient artifacts and talk about the ways the museum helps in the preservation and exploration of the past. Co-sponsored by the Museum of Art and Archaeology, University of Missouri.

Free Websites for Genealogists
Monday, June 16, 2014 › 6:30-8 p.m.
Callaway County Public Library, Friends Room, or 
Tuesday, June 17, 2014 › 7-9 p.m.
Southern Boone County Public Library, Meeting Room
Genealogist Tim Dollens will introduce several free sites you can use to track down your family’s history.

See all our Adult Summer Reading programs online!

The post Summer Program Preview: Technology and Science appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Teen Winners in Callaway County Poetry Contest

DBRLTeen - May 29, 2014
2014 Poetry Contest Winners

2014 Poetry Contest Winners & Judges

Thanks to all the young poets who submitted entries in the 2014 Callaway County Youth Poetry Contest, sponsored by the Callaway County Public Library and the Auxvasse Creative Arts Program. These organizations honored the winners of the contest on Thursday, May 1 at the Callaway County Public Library in Fulton. This year’s contest was judged by Clarence Wolfshohl and Denise Felt. Dallin Rickabaugh, Garett Ballard and Anna Casady  were among those teens recognized for their exemplary work.

Pictured on the front row: Elise Klein, Lia Bondurant, Anna Klein, Corrie Bolton, Anna Casady.

Pictured on the back row: Clarence Wolfshohl (judge), Garett Ballard, Haley Garrett, Dallin Rickabaugh, Denise Felt (judge).

“Synesthesia” by Dallin Rickabaugh (1st Place)

Imagine a world
where music is seen.
Replace the crow of the alarm clock
with the blood red beat of a drum
coursing through your veins.
You get dressed for the day,
and waves of violet jazz surround you,
lifting your spirits
and twirling you about.
The olive green rock’n roll
that shaped your mom and dad
in those gold and silver days
drives you down the highway
towards your bland, white cubicle.
Work diligently
to the black and blue
bass and drum
that fuel those droning hours.
Come home and relax
To the white snowfall
Of light piano,
And the bright sunshine of acoustic guitar.
Fall asleep
to the soft
red clouds
of violas,
as they
Only to
Wake up again
The next morning,
Hearing the loud sun
Through your window pane.
This world turns
With a smooth,
Purple swoosh,
So silent and silver
But only the celestials
Can hear it.
But we see
That music
Every day,
In the love of our family,
In the smiles of our friends,
In the beating of our hearts.

“Imagine a World” by Garett Ballard (2nd Place)

I imagine a world with freedom and flare
A place to be you, if you dare
I imagine a world with music and art
A place with creativity, right from the start
I imagine a world with thousands of smiles
A place like no other for miles and miles,
I imagine a world with beauty and care,
A place where everyone is eager to share.
I imagine a world where you never run late,
A place where you remember every date
I imagine a world with plenty of fun
A place where everyone is united as one.
I imagine a world with no cold or disease
A place with words like thank you and please
I imagine a world where all are polite
A place with peace, not a single fight
I imagine a world that will never be tame
A place where you be yourself, no need to have fame
I imaging a world with people to lead
A place with everything, all that you need
I imagine a world with color and shine
Clearly a world that was meant to be mine.

“Someday” by Anna Casady (3rd Place)

I imagine a world where someday I’ll be,
a world that is new and waiting for me.
A world with no hardships, no sickness no deaths,
a mansion of glory for souls to find rest.
Someday I’ll see the people I loved,
who have passed onto glory and the riches above.
Someday, I’ll see Christ, who died just for me,
and purchased my pardon on Calvary’s tree.
When my time comes to see my Lord’s face,
I’ll kneel down and thank him for His wonderful grace.
Life will be sweet and my joys complete,
when someday my Saviors face I will see.
You can live in this world where I’ll be,
if you let go of pride and choose to believe.

Originally published at Teen Winners in Callaway County Poetry Contest.

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KFRU’s David Lile Interviews One Read Author Daniel Brown

One Read - May 28, 2014

On May 27, KFRU’s David Lile interviewed this year’s One Read author Daniel Brown about his book, “The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.” Listen to Brown speak about the book’s origins and response to being chosen for our community-wide reading program.

The post KFRU’s David Lile Interviews One Read Author Daniel Brown appeared first on One READ.

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New DVD: “The Green Wave”

Center Aisle Cinema - May 28, 2014


We recently added “The Green Wave” to the DBRL collection. The film currently has a rating of 91% from critics at Rotten Tomatoes. Here’s a synopsis from our catalog:

Green is the color of hope. Green was the color of Islam and the symbol of respect among the supporters of presidential runner Mir-Hossein Mousavi, who became the figure of the Green Revolution. The election in 2009 was about change, but contrary to all expectations, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was set in office. A collage illustrating the events and the stance of the people behind the rebellion: their initial hope and curiosity, fear, and the courage to continue to fight.

Check out the film trailer or the official film site for more info.

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Books for Cooks: “Jerusalem” and “Share”

DBRL Next - May 28, 2014

I’ve finally reached that age where I need to learn how to cook. I no longer have the excuse of college to explain my diet of pizza and coffee, and while microwaveable dinners are oh, so delicious, I think it’s time I educated myself on the world of cooking.

The library has a section of cookbooks so ginormous that it’s almost overwhelming. Perusing it is like trying to pick only one candy from a candy store to taste - nearly impossible. I started my selection inspired by a book I’d seen around my parent’s kitchen, thinking, “Yeah, I’ll start by cooking something I’ve already tasted.”

Book cover for JerusalemThis led me to the cookbook “Jerusalem” by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. It’s hard not to love a cookbook full of delicious looking pictures and dishes rich with history. I found myself overwhelmed with the choices. I often had to judge if I had the required patience to cook the more complex recipes within “Jerusalem.” I’m newer to this cooking thing, so I thought, keep it simple. I tried the baby spinach salad with dates and almonds. I did cut corners with the pitas, using old bread instead, but it was still delicious.

Picture of clementine syrup cakeThere is one recipe in this book I will dance around and scream at you to try, and that’s the clementine and almond syrup cake. I am currently dieting, but of course, I sit, drooling, staring at this recipe and thinking back to the time I ate it at my parents’ house. It was an explosion of yummy goodness. It’s sweet but not too sweet, sticky with a citrus syrup and so good you could gobble up the whole thing. I love lemon and orange cakes, and this was a perfect mix of sweet, smooth and sticky.

Share: The Cookbook That Celebrates Our Common Humanity” wasn’t a cookbook I’d seen before, but I couldn’t pass it by. It was full of pictures, and the recipes felt full of heart. They come from hard-working and loving women across the world. The cooking isn’t as fancy as the stuff in Jerusalem, but it’s just as delicious. I was, of course, drawn to its sweet and drool-worthy desserts – all of which I shouldn’t eat but can’t help fantasizing about.

Book Cover for ShareThe dish I want to try the most is Manal Alsharif’s Basbosa. This is definitely a recipe I am saving for that time in my dieting when I can’t take it anymore and need a sweet. Basbosa is a dessert that looks similar to Jerusalem’s clementine and almond syrup cake, which is probably a large reason why I want to eat it. The base cake is made with cornstarch and coconut, cooked till golden, drizzled with syrup made of sugar and lemon juice and finally sprinkled with almonds and pistachio nuts. Yum.

Check out the cookbook section (starting at call number 641.5) and whip yourself up a dish one of these nice summer evenings.

The post Books for Cooks: “Jerusalem” and “Share” appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Top Ten Books Librarians Love: The June List

DBRL Next - May 27, 2014

Library Reads LogoLibrarians clearly have summer on their minds. The June edition of LibraryReads – the monthly list of forthcoming titles librarians across the country recommend – is full of books set near water – cities on the ocean, summer homes with pools, sandy beaches. From thrillers to family dramas, many of these books would make fantastic vacation reads.

Book cover for China Dolls by Lisa SeeChina Dolls
by Lisa See
“Set in 1938 San Francisco, this book follows the lives of three young women up through WWII. Grace travels to California seeking stardom, where she meets Helen, a young woman from Chinatown, and the two find jobs as nightclub dancers. While auditioning, they cross paths with Ruby, and the book alternates between all three viewpoints. Lisa See is one of my favorite authors, and her newest title doesn’t disappoint.”
- Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA

Book cover for The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard StreetThe Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street
by Susan Jane Gilman
“In the tenements of old New York, a young Russian Jewish immigrant woman is taken in by an Italian family who sells ice. Through sheer persistence and strong will, she manages to build an ice cream empire. Lillian Dunkle is a complex character who will make you cheer even as you are dismayed. Have ice cream on hand when you read this book!”
- Marika Zemke, Commerce Township Public Library, Commerce Twp, MI

Book cover for I Am Having so Much Fun Here Without YouI Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You
by Courtney Maum
“Set mainly in Paris, this love story for grown-ups tells the story of a decent man who almost ruins his life and then goes to great lengths to restore his marriage. If your path to a happy marriage has been straightforward, you may not appreciate this book – but it’s perfect for the rest of us!”
- Laurel Best, Huntsville-Madison County Public Library, Huntsville, AL

Here is the rest of the list, with links to the library’s catalog so you can place holds on these on-order books!

The post Top Ten Books Librarians Love: The June List appeared first on DBRL Next.

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“Spark a Reaction” Bookmark Contest Winners

DBRLTeen - May 23, 2014

Earlier this spring we asked area young adults to help us prepare for Summer Reading by designing an original bookmark based on the teen theme, “Spark a Reaction.” Using ink, colored pencils and a great deal of imagination, this year’s teen winners artfully presented their interpretation of what this meant to them. Congratulations goes to Garett Ballard and Ruth Wu! You can pick up your own copies of these bookmarks at any of our three branch locations or bookmobile stops.

Originally published at “Spark a Reaction” Bookmark Contest Winners.

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Docs Around Town: May 23 – May 29

Center Aisle Cinema - May 22, 2014


May 23: The Unknown Known” starts at Ragtag. (via)

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“Particle Fever” on June 18th

Center Aisle Cinema - May 21, 2014


Wednesday, June 18, 2014 • 6:30 p.m.
Columbia Public Library, Friends Room

A hit at the 2014 True/False Film Festival, the film “Particle Fever” (99 min.) explores a significant and inspiring scientific breakthrough as it happens. Imagine if you could have watched footage of Thomas Edison turn on the first light bulb. This film directed by Mark Levinson follows six brilliant scientists during the launch of the Large Hadron Collider, marking the start-up of the biggest and most expensive experiment in the history of the planet, pushing the edge of human innovation. 

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Questions from “The World Before Her”

Center Aisle Cinema - May 21, 2014


Thanks to everyone who came to the “The World Before Her” showing at the Columbia Public Library. Here are some questions about the film that you can respond to in the comments section of this blog post:

  1. What do you see in each young woman’s experience that gives her confidence? What experiences undermine that confidence?
  2. What’s the difference between modernization and Westernization? What might India look like if it modernized, but not in a way that emulated Western nations? Is that possible?
  3. In Prachi and Ruhi we see what pageant advocate Sabira Merchant describes as “the two Indias.” How would you describe the way each of those “Indias” defines success for women?
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While the Library Is Closed…

DBRL Next - May 21, 2014

Photo of a sign reading open 24 hoursOn Friday, May 23 we’ll be closed for staff training, and on Sunday, May 25 and Monday, May 26 we’ll be closed in observance of Memorial Day. While our buildings are closed and the bookmobiles are parked in the garage, don’t forget that the digital branch is always open. Below are just a few of the ways you can use the library this holiday or any day.

photo credit: Tallent Show via photopin cc

The post While the Library Is Closed… appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Updates to LearningExpress Practice Tests

DBRLTeen - May 20, 2014

LearningExpress LibraryRaise ACT/SAT test scores, prepare for the GED or improve math and writing skills, all with just the click of a mouse with LearningExpress Library, available through your library’s digital branch.

LearningExpress Library is a comprehensive, online learning platform of practice tests and tutorial courses designed to help students and adult learners succeed on the academic or licensing tests they must pass. On June 2, 2014, LearningExpress will be updated to LearningExpress Library 3.0. This new version has a cleaner, updated look and is much easier to navigate and use but houses the same quality content.

Free with your library card, use this resource to practice and prepare for:

  • The HiSET Exam, which has replaced the GED for Missouri High School equivalency testing.
  • College and graduate placement tests (ACT, SAT, GRE, MCAD, LSAT).
  • Elementary and high school tests (Advanced Placement; high school, middle school, and elementary school skills).
  • Career preparation exams (EMS, Firefighter, PPST – Praxis, Civil Service, and reading, math and writing skills practice).
  • TOEFL and U.S. Citizenship Exams.

The update and the shift to a new platform requires existing users to re-register their accounts. Existing accounts will not be carried over to the new version. Work done on the old LearningExpress will be not be available after June 2, 2014. Users should finish their current tests and courses and register for a new account at their earliest convenience after June 2. To see the new look of this learning platform check out

Originally published at Updates to LearningExpress Practice Tests.

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2014 One READ Winner: About “The Boys in the Boat” and Daniel Brown

One Read - May 20, 2014
Boys in the Boat PB.coverAbout the Book

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics” is an uplifting and fast-paced Cinderella story.

This nonfiction work describes the journey of nine working class young men from the University of Washington as they row their way out of obscurity and into the gold-medal race at the 1936 Olympic Games in Hitler’s Berlin. The story of poor, twice-orphaned Joe Rantz anchors this cinematic tale of passion and perseverance set against the struggles of the Great Depression and a looming Second World War. Drawing on interviews, journals and period photographs, Brown tells the fascinating story of these unlikely American heroes.

The book’s publisher calls “The Boys in the Boat” an “irresistible story about beating the odds and finding hope in the most desperate of times.”

About the Author

Daniel James BrownDaniel Brown grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and attended Diablo Valley College, the University of California at Berkeley and UCLA. He taught writing at San Jose State University and Stanford before becoming a technical writer and editor. He now lives outside of Seattle, Washington and writes narrative nonfiction full time.

Brown’s book, “Under a Flaming Sky: The Great Hinckley Firestorm of 1894” was named by the American Library Association as one of the best books of 2006. He is also author of the 2009 work, “The Indifferent Stars Above: The Harrowing Saga of a Donner Party Bride.”

Biographical info from and the Books & Authors Database.



More information:

The post 2014 One READ Winner: About “The Boys in the Boat” and Daniel Brown appeared first on One READ.

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2014 List of Suggested Titles

One Read - May 20, 2014

Each winter, the public submits suggestions for next year’s One Read book. In January, a panel of community members reviews the suggestions, narrowing that list down to 10 titles, and then chooses two or three books to present for a public vote.


Final 10 Selections

Other Suggested Titles
  • 1984
    George Orwell
  • Aftershock: The Next Economy and America’s Future
    Robert Reich
  • American Gods
    Gaiman, Neil
  • The Arabian Nights
  • The Art of Hearing Heartbeats
    Jan-Philipp Sendker
  • Atlas Shrugged
    Ayn Rand
  • Behind the Scenes at the Museum
    Atkinson, Kate
  • Biting Through the Skin: An Indian Kitchen in America’s Heartland
    Nina Mukerjee Furstenau
  • Black and Blue
    Anna Quindlen
  • The Book Thief
    Markus Zusak
  • The Burgess Boys
    Elizabeth Strout
  • Carnivorous Carnival
    Lemony Snicket
  • A Chance in the World: An Orphan Boy, a Mysterious Past, and How He Found a Place Called Home
    Steve Pemberton
  • The Coldest Winter Ever
    Sister Souljah
  • Crazy: A Father’s Search Through America’s Mental Health Madness
    Pete Earley
  • Day After Night
    Anita Diamant
  • The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland
    Jim DeFede
  • Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of A President
    Candice Millard
  • A Dog’s Purpose
    W. Bruce Cameron
  • Dominique Ick Lessont and the Dragon Knight
    Eric Tripp
  • The Dovekeepers
    Alice Hoffman
  • Each Little Bird That Sings
    Debbie Wiles
  • Easter Island
    Jennifer Vanderbes
  • Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland’s History-making Race Around the World
    Matthew Goodman
  • Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success
    Phil Jackson
  • Enemy Women
    Paulette Jiles
  • Faith Bass Darling’s Last Garage Sale
    Lynda Rutledge
  • Farmacology: What Innovative Family Farming Can Teach Us About Health and Healing
    Daphne, Miller
  • The Fault in Our Stars
    John Green
  • Fearless: The Undaunted Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice of Navy SEAL Team Six Operator Adam Brown
    Eric Blehm
  • First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers
    Loung Ung
  • Flight Behavior
    Barbara Kingsolver
  • A Fort of Nine Towers: An Afghan Family Story
    Qais Akbar Omar
  • From Far Away
    Kyoko Hikawa
  • Girl Stolen
    April Henry
  • A Good American
    Alex George
  • The Good Lord Bird
    James McBride
  • The Green Trap
    Ben Bova
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
    Mary Ann Shaffer
  • The Happiness Project
    Gretchen Rubin
  • Heart and the Fist: The Education of A Humanitarian, the Making of A Navy SEAL
    Eric Greitens
  • The Heart of a Soldier
    Kate Blaise
  • Coming Home
    Lauren Brooke
  • Here Comes Doctor Hippo: A Little Hippo Story
    Jonathan London
  • Hidden
    Helen Frost
  • Hide and Seek
    Katy Grant
  • Hobbledehoy Boy
    Richard Stickann
  • Home Front
    Kristin Hannah
  • The Horse Whisperer
    Nicholas Evans
  • I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban
    Malala Yousafzai
  • I Am Number Four – The Lost Files: The Search for Sam
    Pittacus Lore
  • I Am Troy Davis
    Jen Marlowe
  • Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain
    David Eagleman
  • Joyland
    Stephen King
  • Junebug
    Cherie Doyen
  • Ladies of the Night : A Historical and Personal Perspective on the Oldest Profession in the World
    Gene Simmons
  • The Little Way of Ruthie Leming: A Southern Girl, a Small Town, and the Secret of a Good Life
    Rod Dreher
  • The Maid’s Version
    Daniel Woodrell
  • Me Before You
    Jojo Moyes
  • Meant to Be
    Lauren Morill
  • Mrs. Lincoln and Mrs. Keckly: The Remarkable Story of the Friendship Between a First Lady and a Former Slave
    Jennifer Fleischner
  • Nexus
    Naam Ramez
  • The Night Circus
    Erin Morgenstern
  • No, David!
    David Shannon
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane
    Neil Gaiman
  • Odd Duck
    Cecil Castellucci
  • Old Yeller
    Fred Gipson
  • The Orphan Master’s Son
    Adam Johnson
  • Pie
    Sarah Weeks
  • Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey Into the Afterlife
    Eben Alexander, M.D.
  • The Prophet
    Kahlil Gibran
  • The Red Garden
    Alice Hoffman
  • The Rent Collector
    Camron Wright
  • The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion
    Jonathan Haidt
  • The Round House
    Louise Erdrich
  • Rules of Civility
    Amor Towles
  • The Shoes of the Fisherman
    Morris West
  • Show Me the Murder
    Carolyn Mulford
  • Sisterland
    Curtis Sittenfeld
  • So Much Pretty
    Cara Hoffman
  • The Spark: A Mother’s Story of Nurturing Genius
    Kristine Barnett
  • The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health, and Disease
    Daniel E. Lieberman
  • Tales of a Female Nomad: Living at Large in the World
    Rita Golden Gelman
  • Telegraph Avenue
    Michael Chabon
  • Telex From Cuba
    Rachel Kushner
  • Tenth of December
    George Saunders
  • Thank You for Your Service
    David Finkel
  • This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage
    Ann Patchett
  • A Thousand Pardons
    Jonathan Dee
  • To Kill a Mockingbird
    Harper Lee
  • Together Tea
    Marjan Kamali
  • Tom T’s Hat Rack: A Story About Paying It Forward
    Michele Spry
  • Toxic Charity
    Robert Lupton
  • TransAtlantic
    Colum McCann
  • The Uglies Series
    Scott Westerfied
  • Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
    Laura Hillenbrand
  • The Warmth of Other Suns
    Isabel Wilkerson
  • The Watchman’s Rattle
    Rebecca D. Costa
  • Wave
    Sonal Deraniyagala
  • When I Grow Up
    Juliana Hatfield
  • Where’d You Go Bernadette
    Maria Semple
  • Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It
    Gary Taubes
  • Wild
    Cheryl Strayed
  • The Wilderness Series
    David Thompson
  • The Woman in White
    Wilkie Collins
  • Wonder
    R.J. Palacio
  • Year of Wonders
    Geraldine Brooks
  • Zeitoun
    Dave Eggers
  • Zorro
    Isabel Allende

The post 2014 List of Suggested Titles appeared first on One READ.

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New DVD: “Winter Soldier”

Center Aisle Cinema - May 19, 2014


We recently added “Winter Soldier” to the DBRL collection. The film was originally released in 1972 and currently has a rating of 100% from critics at Rotten Tomatoes. Here’s a synopsis from our catalog:

Vietnam veterans speak about atrocities committed upon Vietnamese soldiers and civilians during their time in the U.S. armed forces in Vietnam. Through testimony given at the Winter Soldier Investigation held by the Vietnam Veterans Against the War in 1971, press conferences, and interviews with individual participants, the film graphically portrays the effect of U.S. government policy and practice, which turned soldiers into animals bent on destruction and Vietnamese into “gooks”–Non-human “targets” for murder, rape, and mutilation. The veterans struggle to come to terms with the devastation they caused so that others will not make the same mistake again.

Check out the film trailer or the official film site for more info.

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The Gentleman Recommends: Bill Cotter

DBRL Next - May 19, 2014

Book cover for The Parallel Apartments by Bill CotterA modern gentleman buys his monocles fair-trade, extends his habits of refined discourse to the Internet and understands that literature sometimes pulls the curtain back on acts of marital intimacy that are often neither preceded nor followed by nuptials. Even so, I was unable to prevent the frequent dropping of my monocles during the course of reading Bill Cotter’s “The Parallel Apartments.” But not all droppings were related to the artfully depicted acts of often artless intimacy. Indeed, the monocle carnage extended past the reading of the novel and to the reading of reactions to it. I ruined one when I read a review focusing on the ribald aspects rather than the myriad less scandalous reasons to recommend the book. As Cotter alludes to in this charming interview, the Puritanism regarding a few scenes of bodily congress is surprising given erotica’s stranglehold on bestseller lists.

But now I’m guilty of focusing on the tawdry when I should be trying to convince fans of tragicomedy and exquisite writing to check out this book. “The Parallel Apartments” aims most of its focus on three generations of mothers and most of the remaining on assorted inhabitants of the titular complex. One character has $400,000 of credit card debt, and when she inherits enough to pay it off, she instead decides to invest in a robot gigolo and start a brothel in her home, which is both a good business plan and an aid in avoiding her greatest fear: becoming pregnant. Another’s desire to become pregnant is intense enough to require the reader have several backup monocles at the ready. Another character yearns to be a serial killer but thwarts himself, among other ways, by tipping his darts with harmless frog juice rather than deadly frog poison. A retired prostitute hopes to defeat AIDS by having a guru and his unfortunate raccoon clean her blood. She’s accompanied back to Austin by a man that fled it for reasons, revealed brilliantly and late in the novel, that will again have your monocle in shocked descent. Eventually the characters converge to form an ending I’d love to prattle on endlessly about.

The author says his focus was on the sentence level, and the attention to pretty and amusing sentences shows. Cotter’s plot is also worthy of praise, though. The story’s timeline weaves back and forth through decades in a way orchestrated to maximize the impact of various alarming bits of back story and have your eyewear flying off your face. “The Parallel Apartments” is a unique novel, and it gave me a unique feeling (that has nothing to do with the aforementioned scenes of fleshy goings-on). I was heartbroken, delighted, awed and some other stuff there’s probably words for in German. This emotional cocktail caused both a special breed of the weird melancholic elation that often accompanies the finishing of great books and also the need to replace several shattered and/or irreparably moistened monocles.

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I (Finally) Have a Smartphone! Now What?

DBRL Next - May 16, 2014

iPhone 4SI have a love-hate relationship with technology. I enjoy the ways technology has democratized access to information and transformed librarianship. Yes, we still have books printed on actual paper (my preferred way to read), but we also provide downloadable eBooks, audiobooks and digital magazines, as well as streaming music and movies. I love being able to have something to read or listen to, any time and anywhere.

However, I don’t want to always have my face in a screen, and I don’t want my young children to become device addicts either, always clamoring to play Minecraft or Angry Birds. So I’ve resisted smartphone ownership (being ridiculed for my old-school cell phone with its slide-out QWERTY keyboard) until this Mother’s Day when I received a shiny new Galaxy S 5. Now I have to figure out how to make this device work for me and not become a slave to its many tempting features and functions.

I could start with a class. Every month or so the library offers a training session called Maximizing your Android Device. (We also have similar classes for Apple device owners.) The next class will be at 2:30 p.m. on June 9 at the Columbia Public Library. (Call 573-443-3161 to register starting May 27.)

Of course, there are books I could consult as well. We have a slew of books about smartphones, from the Missing Manual series to the Teach Yourself Visually books.

Book cover for Hamlet's BlackBerry by William PowersIn order to avoid feeling overwhelmed by the number of apps available for download, I’m starting with my library favorites, including our mobile catalog app from BiblioCommons, the OverDrive app for my eBooks and Hoopla for music and video. (All of these apps are featured at DBRLTeen in a handy guide that includes links for downloading.)

Finally, to make sure I don’t let this very seductive device ruin my real-life relationships with friends and family, I’m going to check out William Powers’ book “Hamlet’s Blackberry: A Practical Philosophy for Building a Good Life in the Digital Age.” In hardback. :-)

photo credit: Jonas Tana via photopin cc

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